Five ways to stir up curiosity about faith in our kids

Written by C.S. Fritz
Published on November 06, 2020

Our kids are curious by design. They are watching, imitating, pushing the boundaries, and constantly asking questions because they have an innate need to know why. It’s this curiosity that allows them to make sense of the word around them. It can be easy to spark that curiosity in our kids when it’s something tangible, like teaching them to bake or showing them how to ride a bike, but how can we as caregivers instill a Godly curiosity within our kids? How can we teach the most vital and important aspect of our lives in our everyday? Let’s examine five practical ways we can continually point them back to Jesus.

1) BRUTAL HONESTY

Our role as disciple-makers in satisfying our kid’s curiosity, especially in the area and practice of faith, is to never white-wash how scriptures and the gospel relate to all things in our lives. This concept applies both to the good and pleasant, as well as the hard and vulnerable. By allowing our kids to see us struggling with a truth about God in a difficult part of scripture or situation (in an age-appropriate manner), they are given the gift of seeing our ‘’fallenness’, which in turn gives them a model for our need for redemption and grace. 

2) MODEL IT

As parents know, children are natural imitators. They’re watching and observing how we relate to God and the world around us more often than we think. This is an incredible responsibility and gift for parents who are trying to raise their children in the nurture and admonishment of the Lord. We must model a faith that sings in storms, laughs with delight, reacts with injustice and prays within uncertainty. Kids are drawn to the real-life version of people and things. There’s a reason the 10-month old prefers the actual TV remote to the plastic toy version. There’s a reason our pre-teens want to sit at the adult table. Kids want to do what we’re doing; to be involved with what we’re engaged with. What we choose to show or model to them has lasting impacts because they’re looking to us to show them how to interact with and relate to the real world. No child will be interested in a steam-less or hidden faith that promises no solace or resolve. But a faith which electrifies a soul? Now that will stir a curiosity.

3) KNOW YOUR ROLE

Yes, we as caregivers wear many hats. We are fathers and mothers, encouragers, correctional officers, waiters and the occasional horse and saddle to our children. But, there is no greater role God has bestowed upon us than that of disciple-makers. Parents have been tasked with the willful obligation to guide their children into what it means to follow Christ. Before youth pastors, grandparents or camp counselors, we will be judged with how we handled this beautiful responsibility. Once our children see how serious we take this mission, a curiosity into the root of the why we would care so much about their spiritual well-being can come naturally.

4) THE GOSPEL IN FILM

It may seem a fruitless and passive activity to allow our kids to watch movies and TV shows, but upon closer examination, many of our children’s favorite stories are speckled with gospel elements. Unearthing these themes can create a teachable moment as you show your kids the parallels between their favorite movies and gospel truths. The resurrection of Harry Potter (spoiler alert). The transformation of Beauty’s beast. The sacrifice of Anna in Frozen. The more we can point out these comparisons, the more accessible and real the richest of all stories can become. No longer is the Word an ancient collection of mothballs and cobwebs, but our kids can begin to see the gospel as current and relevant to their lives now. The more we can call out the archetypes of the stories our families love, the more our children will be stirred in their faith. 

5) UN-WEIRD JESUS

This one may be a bit controversial, but we should be doing some ”un-weirding” of Jesus. Jesus was an outcast, unconditionally kind, and a non-transactional rebel. But, so many of our children’s books have made Christ to be a remote, domesticated hippie. To get our children interested in following Jesus, let’s make sure they find Jesus as interesting and multi-faceted as He really is. Kids need to see that Jesus got hungry, thirsty, hot and cold. He had emotions, thoughts and had to make tough decisions. We need to tell our kids of His relatable humanness, as much as his holiness. It’s much easier to build up faith and curiosity when Jesus becomes desirable

Building up curiosity about faith in our kids may seem like an overwhelming responsibility, and in part that can be true. But, we have to remember that God gave us these children as a gift, and taking it day-by-day, remembering Him in the small, seemingly mundane everyday moments, and allowing our kids to peer into those moments, will go a long way as they seek to imitate us, as we imitate Christ. The more we stay curious about the gospel, the more they will.

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C.S. Fritz

C. S. (Casey) Fritz served on staff with Reality LA and is the founding pastor of Collective Church. Now, he writes and illustrates full time and is the creator of Seekers, Good Night Tales, the Cottonmouth series, and the forthcoming Good Night Classics. Casey and his wife, Emily, have been married since 2005 and have a son and a daughter.

Read more about C.S.

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